The Dutch education system

Higher education in the Netherlands is divided into two streams: universities (research universities) and universities of applied sciences (UAS). NHL Stenden is a UAS where the focus lies on the practical application of the knowledge students gain. Universities, on the other hand, focus on scientific research.

Studying in the Netherlands may be excitingly different to what you’re used to. Dutch classrooms tend to reflect the country’s wider culture and its values of equality and autonomy. Students are expected to develop their own intellectual independence and are stimulated to share their ideas and opinions. All of this is part of a teaching style which has received international praise. 

Lecturers at Dutch schools and universities are facilitators who guide students in their learning process. Students are expected to be assertive, proactive and independent so that they develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

The Dutch education system has a strong connection with both national and international businesses and with partner universities across the world. This means there’s a wide choice of internships and work placement possibilities and more career opportunities for students. 

At NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences, we use Design-Based Education, an educational concept that combines an inter-disciplinary approach with real-world assignments. It works so well that it’s one of the #6 reasons students choose to come and study and NHL Stenden. You can find out more about what our students think of our education concept here and how it works here.

This video explains the school system in the Netherlands.